Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad Ahmad confirmed on Wednesday that he intends to challenge Fifa’s five-year ban for corruption.
He’ll refer the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Ahmad has been head of Caf since March 2017 but was banned by Fifa on Monday after being found guilty of misusing Caf’s finances for his own benefit and “governance issues” by the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee.
His legal team announced that they will be appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as they believe the “decision was not rendered in a fair and impartial manner”.
“I challenge the sanction that has been imposed. Beyond my case, it is the self-determination of football in Africa that is under attack,” said the 60-year-old in a statement posted on his official Twitter account.
“This decision was not rendered in a fair and impartial manner.”
His bid for re-election as Caf president in March 2021 is now in doubt.
The former Malagasy Football Federation president was also fined 200 000 Swiss francs ($220 000) by Fifa for the misdeeds, which related to “the organisation and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca” and his involvement in Caf’s dealings with a sports equipment company.
The Caf president had denied the accusations.
In response to Ahmad’s ban, Caf announced on Monday that Constant Omari’s position as interim head of the body would be extended, without specifying for how long.
In April 2019, former Caf official Amr Fahmy claimed that Ahmad was involved in a series of offences.
Fahmy informed Fifa in a letter that Ahmad had paid bribes to directors, made personal use of Caf funds and sexually harassed a number of employees.
Two months later, Ahmad was arrested in Paris while at the Fifa Congress ahead of that year’s women’s World Cup as part of a probe into corruption, but was released a day later without charge.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi